Recent Developments

Issues that affect ministers and churches
Sexual Misconduct by Clergy, Lay Employees, and Volunteers - Part 3
A New York court ruled that a person was not disqualified from driving a school bus containing minors because of a 21-year-old rape conviction.
Key point 10-04. A church may be liable on the basis of negligent selection for a worker's molestation of a minor if the church was negligent in the selection of the worker. Negligence means a failure to exercise reasonable care, and so negligent selection refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care in the selection of the worker. Liability based on negligent selection may be imposed upon a church for the acts of employees and volunteers.
Negligence as a Basis for Liability

* A New York court ruled that a person was not disqualified from driving a school bus containing minors because of a 21-year-old rape conviction. In 1981, an adult male (Carl) was charged for the rape of a 27-year-old woman. He was 30 years old at the time of the offense. Carl later pled guilty to the lesser charge of sexual abuse in the first degree, a Class D Violent Felony, and was sentenced to nine months in the county jail. In 1997 Carl obtained a commercial drivers license (CDL) and began driving a school bus transporting adults who were either physically or mentally disabled. In 2002 Carl applied for a job as a school bus driver with a school. This job would have involved driving minor students to and from school. At the time, Carl was 52 years of age, had been married to his current wife for five years, and had a son and daughter (ages 32 and 30) from a previous marriage.

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Posted: March 1, 2004
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